To translate children’s insights and imaginations about UK treescapes into interactive gaming environments, empowering them to contribute to future treescape planning and policy.
Digital Voices of the Future taps into children’s wisdom and imagination to envision the future of UK treescpes through immersive gaming environments. Rooted in the research insights of Voices of the Future, this project extends beyond conventional paradigms. It seeks to amplify the voices of children, forging a novel pathway where their visions, narratives and aspirations intertwine with scientific knowledge to craft immersive gaming environments.
At its core, this initiative is a conduit for participatory engagement, weaving together scientific expertise, linguistic narratives, inclusive education practices, philosophical reflections and community forest engagement. By translating the intimate understanding gained from co-production research with children into meticulously designed gaming interfaces, this project aims to democratize knowledge exchange. It empowers children to shape the discourse around treescapes, not merely as observers but as active contributors, influencers, and future custodians of our environmental heritage.
The journey towards redefining children’s engagement with UK treescapes spans many avenues. Led by Simon Carr, this initiative sets out to infuse scientific rigour into the creation of gaming assets and mechanics. Simon’s expertise in 3D imaging, coupled with an interdisciplinary team comprising Applied Linguists, Youth Work specialists and Philosophers, integrates diverse perspectives into the gaming landscape.
Additionally, through the expert guidance of Sub-Contractor X||dinary Stories, this collaboration will transcend traditional research methodologies by leveraging children’s insights and gaming as a conduit for expressing their hopes, concerns, and visions for the future.
This groundbreaking endeavour positions The Mersey Forest as a cornerstone, providing a tangible link between digital realms and real-world treescapes. As the project unfurls, it envisions not just an interface for gaming but a channel through which children actively contribute to The Mersey Forest Plan for 2025. The envisaged unity between virtual explorations and policy frameworks underscores the transformative potential of this initiative. It seeks to instil a sense of stewardship among children, propelling them towards active participation in envisioning, nurturing, and safeguarding our treescapes for generations to come.
Simon Carr, University of Cumbria
University of Cumbria, Manchester Metropolitan University, Middlesex University London, The Mersey Forest, X||dinary Stories